HOW TO CONSTRUCT A PATIO OVERHEAD

ALLOW FOR RAFTER THICKNESS: (FROM TOP OF LEDGER. TO BOTTOM OCEAVE)

Six choices of patio overheads

LACE-ON CANVAS COVERS

The trim nautical look of canvas pulled taut in pipe panels has captured the imagination of many homeowners. Installation is quite simple because tension on the canvas tends to be evenly distributed when it is laced on with a continuous piece of cord. Maintenance is also simple. The canvas can be removed for the winter months with little trouble; tension can be adjusted to keep the panel tight; if you don’t mind the sight of the frame, you won’t have to dismantle the pipes.

CORRUGATED PLASTIC PANELS

Of the various materials available, corrugated plastic panels are the most widely used for overheads. The most popular corrugated panel is 26 inches wide, which provides for a 2-inch overlap and installation on rafters spaced 2 feet on centers. Ideal installation for these panels is over a framework that has rafters spaced 2 feet apart with the corrugations running lengthwise. If cutting is necessary, use a fine-toothed handsaw or a power saw with an abrasive blade.

EGGCRATE OVERHEAD GIVES FEELING OF PROTECTION

Open to the sky, but substantial enough to give a sheltered feeling, the eggcrate overhead may be the answer to your particular situation. An added advantage is that this shelter can be covered with another material to provide more shade and protection. Once the basic framing members are in place, all you have to do is nail in blocking between the rafters. Carefully measure the distance between the rafters and saw blocking to fit snugly. Use four nails to secure each end, two on each side.

REED IS INEXPENSIVE AND EASY TO HANDLE

Lightweight, with interesting textures, a woven reed overhead requires a minimum understructure. It is also easier to install than almost any other material. Because the material is so light, it can be laid on wires stretched tightly between rafters. If you want the reed to be permanent and able to withstand the elements, use a stapling gun to attach it to the frames, then secure it with 1-inch strips laid on top and wired to the steel wire underneath.

ALUMINUM SCREENING RESISTS CORROSION

Consisting of plastic-coated aluminum wires, aluminum screening attached to an overhead frame not only resists corrosion but helps to reduce sun penetration. It can be installed in various widths. The width you buy will be determined largely by the dimensions of the framework you build, principally the distance between the rafters. Although you may be tempted to install a broad width, you might find it difficult to install without its sagging. The wide screen is hard to pull taut.

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